- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall (January 6, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0131176552
- ISBN-13: 978-0131176553
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,747,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Introduction to Computing and Programming in Python, A Multimedia Approach
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About the Author
Mark Guzdial is a Full Professor at the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, member of the GVU Center, and Director of the Collaborative Software Laboratory. His Prentice Hall books include Squeak: Object-Oriented Design with Multimedia Applications; Squeak: Open Personal Computing and Multimedia; and Introduction to Computing and Programming in Python: A Multimedia Approach.
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Top Customer Reviews
Focusing on computing applications in the arts, this book uses a clever approach to enable the beginner to do really interesting stuff, very quickly. There are things in there that would be of interest to any photographer, not just a software beginner.
Yes, Photoshop is faster and easier, but it hasn't got this level of control! If you ever wanted to write your own Photoshop plugins, this book might be of interest just as an alternative way to get to design your own effects.
Admittedly, it is also pretty darned expensive.
Otherwise great stuff! This book fills a gaping hole in the Python literature. If you are an intelligent beginner, it is a great place to get started in getting real control over your computer!
The CD that comes with the book runs on any PC and is easy to install and use. Because it's a multimedia-based book and self-study course, you get to do neat things like:
- manipulate images (.jpg files): understand bit representations of colors in a pixel, loop through pixels in an image, change colors in a photo, create a sunset (darken, lighten), convert to grayscale, remove red eye, repair photos, perform mirroring (symmetry in a photo)
- manipulate sounds (.wav files): understand the bit representation of sounds; view signals; change the volume; sample sounds at various rates; create echoes; splice sounds together; and learn a bit about compression, MP3, and MIDI
- manipulate strings and html pages: scrape Web pages for specific data and create your own Web pages based on the data you've pulled from other pages, perform string searches, work with files, deal with lookup tables (dictionaries) to act as primitive databases
- manipulate videos (series of .jpg images): there are tools on the CD that let you create simple animations (including fade outs and chroma key) and see how a stream of images combines to form a simple 3-second video
Overall, it's a great book, and a fun way to learn programming.
Along the way, you can learn how images are encoded in JPG, and how colours are represented, either in RGB or HSB. There is a fair amount of image analysis and modifications that can be easily done in Python. This does not approach the sophistication of what Photoshop provides. But being able to do a lot yourself, instead of invoking canned Photoshop routines, might appeal to you.
Audio manipulation is also covered, though perhaps not as extensively. There are more specialised audio tools available elsewhere, especially for music synthesis.
The discussion of movies is very weak. Due to the complexity of what is required. Here I suggest you turn to what Apple and others offer.
As a textbook introducing very basic basic programming it's not too bad. However, if you are just looking for a book on Python programming, or a general introduction to programming for your own personal purposes it's not worth the inflated price-tag that comes along with it being prescribed reading material.
It may also be worth noting, that although this says 3rd edition (International edition), this ebook varies from the normal 3rd edition that is required by some university courses. Specifically the questions at the end of each chapter differs between these editions, so you might end up having to get the correct question from someone that has the correct edition if you want to pass your tests.
You may want to consider trying to get the exact edition you need, but good luck trying to find the correct one in ebook form on Amazon, or directly from the publisher who refuses to sell or rent it to anyone outside of the US or Canada.
Considering this issue, I think I'm being charitable giving the book three stars, but this rating is based more on the content than on the foibles of the publisher.